Friday, July 11, 2014

Brazil, world cup final and football matters

The 2014 world cup in Brazil, home of football, has never been short of surprises, thrills and heartbreaks alike.

Giant killers and minnows Costa Rica surprised many people by reaching the quarterfinals and thrashing Italy, Uruguay and nearly skinning England to emerge top in a group of death.

Algeria enchanted many by their belief, speed and talent while bigger teams like Holland, Germany, Uruguay without the horrible Suarez bite.

Lest we forget teams like Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Belgium who mesmerized us with their fantastic displays.

Brazilian poster boy Neymar's unfortunate injury and the suspension of their stalwart captain and dependable kingpin Silva not only ended their world cup dream but also the hope and aspirations of 200 million football mad Brazilians.

So many surprises and heartbreaks have been the hallmark of this world cup.

Defending world champions Spain were quickly bundled out and will attest to the high paced game full of energy that swept them off their tiki-taka football. England came with a huge ego too but were brought back to reality fast after finding the going tough in a group dominated by former world champions except the surprise package Costa Rica.

Then came the shocker of all which become the talk of the world, Germany thrashed Brazil 7-1 in a scintillating thriller of a semi final that is arguably the most one sided world cup semi finals ever witnessed.

To beat Brazil at home with a humiliating and yet emphatic score of 7-1 can never be an understatement at all. Germans were good and efficient in front of goal and took their chances very well.

The Germans will square off in the final of the 2014 football world cup with the unpredictable Argentines who have livewire Lionel Messi and a sea of other talents in Di Maria, Aguero, Higuain, Mascherano among others who will not only carry their country's hope but that of the whole continent of South America.

Just to give you a clue of what is at stake here, old rivalries between Argentina and Brazil have been buried as the 200 million Brazilians will for the first time support their arch rivals Argentina against the Germans purely not out of love for Argentina but in revenge for loosing 7-1 against Germany.

That is football for you, which, like politics has no permanent enemies. The universal motto, your enemies enemy is your friend, seams to be the order of the day.

The hullaballoos associated with the world football bonanza is set to also come to a close after the July 13 final meaning the samba rumble, the dance and music and everything will end.

Football is once again set to leave us with lasting memories bound to captivate us many years after the end of this world.

One advertisement that will always make me smile is the Coca Cola one, especially the part where three cooks are seen watching a football match as the cooking pot catches fire in the background . Smelling something, one of them say,

"I smell something,"

The response he gets is both ridiculous and hilarious!

"It is victory"! his friend responds as they both laugh and celebrate unaware of their fire gutted kitchen and food!

On a more serious note, with all due respect for the German team, I wish Argentina and Messi win the coveted world cup trophy and as Neymar admitted the little but decorated Argentine talisman Messi needs to win the world cup in order to join the ranks of legends like Diego Armando Maradona.

I arrest my case.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Militants attack Somalia Presidential palace in Mogadishu again

Over 10 heavily armed Al-Shabaab militants disguised as Somalia military officer driving a pickup technical drove into the Presidential palace in Mogadishu immediately after the call of the evening prayers roared across Mogadishu to symbolize the breaking of the Ramadan fast and immediately opened fire at guards who were busy eating or breaking their fast!

This is the second time this year for such a brazen attack on the highest office in Somalia after Al-Shabaab attacked the same villa Somalia Presidential palace in February.

A security source inside Villa Somalia confirmed the incident and said the attackers included militants with suicide vests wrapped around their waists who exploded themselves during the siege which lasted for almost an hour. He said at least 13 militants were killed and that the "real" Somalia military forces have managed to end the siege after bravely fighting off the attackers who hid in one of the buildings.

The latest news shocked many locals in the Horn of African country and is likely to increase suspicion among its war weary residents raising many questions at the state of security management in the volatile country struggling to shed off years of conflict.

The attack comes at a time when the capital city is experience a boom in construction and businesses as thousands of Somali returnees from the diaspora return to pick up pieces and rebuild their shuttered homes.

Despite occurrence of such attacks, Mogadishu is witnessing an unprecedented growth and development with new tarmacked roads, streetlights and exotic restaurants and coffee shops popping up all over the city that is open until late serving locals who move around at night after breaking their Ramadan fasts to enjoy the cooler night breeze in seaside Mogadishu.